A new column at The Nerdy Girl Express is The Miller Twins Talk Supernatural Season 12. Here twins and The Nerdy Girl Express writers, Stacy Miller and Tracy Miller, will share their thoughts about the heroic Winchester boys, Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) as well as the many other wonderful characters on The CW’s longest running show. Will these twins agree on the characters and plot themes for each episode? Read below to find out.
This article contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen the episode “Family Feud” please do not continue reading.
Supernatural is a show where familial relationships is an essential theme. At the heart of Supernatural is the family dynamics of the Winchesters. But other permutations of families have been illustrated over the years. For example, we saw the Campbells and Dean’s paramour Lisa with her son Ben. The angels, with its warring factions, epitomizes the “dysfunctional family.” Even Chuck (revealed as God in Season 11) has his family angst, courtesy of petulant son Lucifer and vengeful sister Amara.
Tonight in the episode “Family Feud,” viewers were able to see the “demonic royal family” together after centuries apart: King of Hell Crowley (Mark Sheppard), The Queen Mother of Hell and witch extraordinaire Rowena (Ruth Connell) and Gavin (Theo Devaney). When we last saw Gavin in the Season 9 episode “King of the Damned”, he had a reconciliation of sorts with his formerly abusive father Crowley and fancied himself as a prince of Hell.
The opening teaser of “Family Feud” begins six months ago when a woman in Andover, Massachusetts is killed by a ghostly menace. Flash to the present day: Sam and Dean get wind of the case. Meanwhile, Mary continues working for the British Men of Letters and keeping this arrangement a secret from her boys (even lying to Dean when he asks for her help on the new case that she is resting up following the Ramiel adventure). In King of Hell news, Crowley talks with his captive Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) and gives the audience much-needed exposition on how he came into custody of Lucifer’s meatsuit Nick and was able to reunite the Devil’s grace with the meatsuit. Lucifer and Crowley engage in a battle of wits; Lucifer gets the upper hand by informing Crowley that the Winchesters neglected to tell the King of Hell that Kelly Kline is still pregnant with Satan’s spawn.
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, my heart is overjoyed at the return of Mark Pellegrino, because in my opinion, Lucifer is his signature role. Pellegrino’s delivers Lucifer’s lines with artistic precision.
Meanwhile in Winchester land, Sam and Dean are piecing together clues of their supernatural investigation and connect the dots to The Star, a sunken 1723 ship where Crowley’s son Gavin was supposed to be one of the ill-fated passengers. Because Crowley is angry at the boys for the Kelly Kline debacle (calling them morons), he refuses to help them in their quest to locate Gavin. On to Plan B: Rowena. At first, Rowena doesn’t want to help the brothers either. Seriously Sam and Dean…how many times can you expect Rowena to help you before you begin reciprocating by doing a favor or two for her? Anyway, the ever resourceful hunters sweeten the pot by telling Rowena that if she helps them locate the man they seek, she will want to meet this man as well.
It was good to see Theo Devaney reprise his role as Gavin. We didn’t get to learn about Gavin’s life in the 21st century, but the writers did an excellent job constructing the narrative of the past. The vengeful spirit is Fiona, the love of Gavin’s life, who wanted to come with him to the new world. Gavin refused to take her. But when Abbadon altered the time line by transporting Gavin to the 21st century and Fiona stowed away on The Star, the young woman endured unspeakable horrors before she died in the ship wreck. In addition, Fiona harbored intense anger towards teachers who were unkind to her and for whom she believed failed to protect children. Thus, her victims are teachers. Her spirit is attached to an old necklace that Gavin gave her. It is Gavin who proves to be the hero when he agrees to set things right by sacrificing himself to return to the past. He called Crowley to say goodbye. Crowley is ready to veto the plan. But Rowena stands with the Winchesters and Gavin; her magic proves more powerful than Crowley’s when she prevents her son from stopping Gavin from fulfilling his ill-fated destiny. In the end, Gavin and Fiona are reunited in the afterlife. In addition, we learn that Rowena was willing to see Gavin sacrificed because she knew the loss of his son would hurt Crowley. Rowena reminds Crowley how he willingly saw to it that Oskar (who she loved more than Crowley) was sacrificed so that the Mark of Cain could be removed from Dean. It seems that Rowena has won this round. in the ongoing mother/son war.
In other plot news: Kelly Kline is hunted by angels. But as the mother of Lucifer’s baby, she is under the protection of demons.
Mr. Ketch does some mental manipulation of Mary by extolling her skill as a hunter and suggesting that her potential as a hunter is weakened whenever she is with her sons. Later at the Men of Letters bunker, Mary finally admits her duplicity to Sam and Dean who are livid to learn that she has been working with the British Men of Letters. Can their relationship be salvaged?
“Family Feud” was a strong episode. It had the feel of a classic Supernatural episode with its engaging vengeful spirit plot. Theo Devaney gave a fine performance as Gavin portraying him with quiet sensitivity and determination. The fact that he sacrificed his life to ease the pain suffered by Fiona’s spirit and to save countless innocents’ lives made him the hero of the hour. I would have liked to have seen more scenes between him with Mark Sheppard, but Devaney succeeded in showing Gavin’s understated love for his father. Ruth Connell and Mark Sheppard continue to bring their “A” game as Crowley and Rowena. Finally, as I mentioned earlier, I’m thrilled that Mark Pellegrino is back as Lucifer. Pellegrino comfortably wears Satan’s meatsuit with his mixture of humor and menace.
One of the most valuable resources of a long running series is its rich history. It gives the show the option to reach into the stories of episodes’ past for a forgotten gem and base a script on. The CW’s Supernatural has an arsenal, not of weapons (the Winchesters have that covered) but of material and characters. Take the case of the episode “Family Feud.” Remember Gavin (Theo Devaney) MacCleod, the son of Fergus Roderick MacCleod? (Crowley to both his friends and enemies) Well, he’s back and helps Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) with their latest case: a vengeful spirit targeting teachers. But Gavin’s return isn’t the only blast from Supernatural’s past we get in the episode. We learned how Crowley (Mark Sheppard) got Lucifer by diverting Rowena’s (Ruth Connell) spell and placing the angel in his former Nick vessel. The explanation was a plausible way to address the return of Mark Pellegrino. And the barbs exchanged between Crowley and Lucifer are pure magic – two Marks are definitely better than one!
But back to the episode. So, a ghost hunt. Did someone say Yay? Oh yeah, that was me. I love when Supernatural does ghost episodes. I’ve made no secret that my favorite seasons of Supernatural were the earlier ones and my favorite hunts are of the salt and burn variety. And vengeful spirits are both evil and sad as the viewer can sympathize with their plight. They were people with normal lives and those they loved but fate cruelly ripped it all away so the name of the game becomes revenge. Along the way, the spirits get angry and logic becomes twisted. Such was the case with Fiona (Candace Woods). Gavin told her he was sailing to the New World but didn’t want her to join him on the dangerous voyage. Fiona loved Gavin and was determined to follow him. Believing he boarded the ship without her, (Darn you Abbadon and your spell to transport Crowley’s son to the future) stowed away on the vessel where she suffered cruelty at the hands of the crew. And because hers and Gavin’s old teacher called her names for having a relationship with Gavin and due to her torture by the ship’s crew, Fiona’s spirit targeted teachers; these were people who should encourage and mold students lives, not tear them down. The only way to save Fiona from her vengeful spirit destiny and all the people she killed was for Gavin to return back to his old time, meet his fate and set things right. Gavin agrees without hesitation, proving that the son of a demon and grandson of a witch can be a hero.
The theme of the episode was the complicated parent/child relationship. We have Mary (Samantha Smith) continuing to work with the British Men of Letters but lying to her sons. When she finally tells Sam and Dean the truth towards the episode’s end, it looks like the Winchesters will be on opposite sides. But one Winchester believing the end justifying the means (shades of Sam working with Ruby and drinking demon blood) always ends poorly, with trust loss and a relationship never being the same. Mary has been acting been strangely since her return. She hasn’t been the mother that viewers would have thought she’d be after finally getting to be with her sons. She’s coming off as distance and uncaring. Could something more be happening with her? (Think Season 6 Sam).
We have Gavin and Crowley. Here’s a father and son with a horrible relationship of abuse and neglect in their past that came together in the future with feelings of genuine affection only to be torn apart in favor of the greater good. Kelly Kline (Courtney Ford) and her unborn child. Devil spawn or not, this is her baby and Kelly continues to protect it. Now it looks like she’s going to trust demons. “That’s what you get for trusting a demon,” Crowley once told Dean in the Season 5 episode “The Devil You Know.” But what will Kelly ‘get’? Stay tuned. And finally, Rowena and Crowley. There has been moments of underlying affection between these two. But unfortunately, the resentment is stronger. Rowena wanted Crowley to feel the loss of a son the way she had when he forced her to kill Oskar, the boy she loved like a son and better than Crowley (Ouch). Will Rowena and Crowley ever have a true son/mother relationship? If true means parental animosity, than the answer is yes.
“Family Feud” was a well written script highlighting everything Supernatural does best.
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